Monthly Archives: June 2014



I had planned to write this before the events of last week, so in the light of my previous post- here goes!

I have been to 3 burlesque dance sessions and it is great. It is going to be so helpful for me! 🙂

The ladies only class is full of ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. It is Sooo challenging- I love it!!!

Most of the ladies get dressed up for the classes. There is copious amounts of bare flesh showing and I am having to be utterly non- judgemental and one mindful to manage my inner repulsion at women’s flesh. I am doing well.

I have not got dressed up! In fact, I actually wore pyjama bottoms for the first two sessions! As I said to my friend, if I wore a nun’s habit I couldn’t be more covered up! Last week I moved from baggy pj bottoms to proper leggings with a long shirt covering my backside!

The exercise part of it is perfect for my struggles with depersonalization. I have blogged before about my trouble to connect with my body. I know I have a hand, but I can’t relate to the fact that it is my hand… I know that sounds strange- but it is quite a horrible feeling. The movements in burlesque are quite minimal at times and I have been connected with my wrists and elbows in a whole new way! I do the choreography mindfully and I am slowly becoming acquainted with my body in new ways- which is so exciting.

My psychiatrist thinks this is one of the best things I’ve ever done. He was go smacked when I told him! Penelope doesn’t know I’ve signed up- she will be surprised as well.

I have a very long way to go. I am no where near wearing other clothes but I have gone with the props. I am now the proud owner of pink satin gloves and a pink feather fan- I love them!!!!

Last week I spent a few days with my dearest friend Miranda, we went shopping. Miranda has been with me in most of my sublime to ridiculous adventures- but she did almost draw the line in coming into Ann Summers with me !!!!!! ( I didn’t want to either but apparently they do good fans!) it felt really special looking for pink gloves with her 🙂 even more special when at one point we we talking about steamer saucepans and pink gloves at the same time- oh how my life has changed!!!

Who knows where my burlesque journey will take me… Doesn’t really matter where… My plan is to go through the journey one-mindfully, trying to participate as much as I can and managing my distress at difficult situations. It’s good fun.

Thanks for listening



Side by side


This week has been a new experience for me. I have been trying to marry my sadness at the loss of my brother’s dog- both the dog itself but more painfully the impact on my brother, while at the same time also trying to accept and live in the moment of all the great things that I am doing and getting on with.

The balance of both sadness and lots of joy has been a new and tricky situation for me. In times past, on the whole things would either be absolutely awful or absolutely amazing. This week I find that both are occurring simultaneously for me- and I have found it difficult to manage- mainly because I manage my life by compartmentalising everything, everyone and myself!

I have not seen Penelope for 3 weeks. And I have been thinking about my upcoming session on Friday. What do I tell her… Where do I start? Do I let my grief be the focus of the session or do I spend some time telling her all the massive strides I have taken forward? Well, in line with dialectics I will obviously do both. Because both are equally valid and equally true.

I remember a previous therapist saying to me once, that one of the hardest things can be to accept that someone has been both horrible to you and at times nice. That confusion throws me at times- but it is working with the grey. I tend to box people into competent- incompetent, generous-stingy, capable- incapable… And actually sometimes people including myself can vary on that spectrum.

On Monday I felt paralysed by my emotional pain. Everything I had been working on seemed Sooo pointless. By Tuesday I was able to accept more that Nellie dying is absolutely awful, but that doesn’t have to negate everything else. Yesterday I was very wobbly and today I’ve identified my struggle of two things going on at the same time. That is really helpful.

Hair cuts, jewellery, clothes, making soups and eyebrows seem so unbelievably pointless when I think about my brother. And in many ways yes they are. But I’ve had glimpses that sometimes the more mundane things in life are the things that enable to you keep going when the bigger things are shaken. Going grocery shopping, washing up, having a shower are part of the rhythms that may help stop a potential crash.

I have had to accept that Nellie has died and i am trying to accept that my brother will respond the way he chooses to respond. I have had to put into practice the skills of self-soothing and distress tolerance in a way I haven’t had to for quite a while. I am tired, very shaky and vulnerable. But I have also known what I have needed to do to manage. I’ve been exercising, cooking, watching films, sitting outside, tidying up. Apart from one day I haven’t totally collapsed- which is wonderful 🙂

Thank you for all your thoughts.

Thanks for listening.


Right now, I feel very sad.


At this moment I feel completely and utterly utterly sad. The tears won’t stop and I feel like my heart is going to never recover from the pain it feels currently. My brother’s dog, Nellie has died suddenly this afternoon. Nellie was originally my dad’s beloved dog and my brother took her on when my dad died, 10 years ago next month. 

Nellie was my connection with my dad. Nellie was also the reason my brother got out of bed each morning. My brother is a wheelchair user and quite poorly but everyday without fail he would hoist himself off the bed and take her walking for hours every day. He has an electric wheelchair and is a familiar sight to the locals who spoil him rotten with free sausage rolls (the dog not my brother.)

This afternoon my brother rang me hysterical. Nellie was shaking and foaming at the mouth. it was one of the most awful phone calls of my life. He wanted me there, and I wasn’t there. My sister is abroad. My brother was alone. I can’t bear it. Nellie died. My link with dad has gone. My brother is alone. I am consciously not telling my sister- she needs a holiday, she can’t do anything to help. I can’t believe Nellie is gone. 

My brother, like me with my own dog, has/had an almost unhealthy attachment to Nellie. He would NEVER leave her and his life revolves/revolved around her. My sister and I have always said that we would prefer it if my brother died before Nellie- because dealing with his grief over Nellie always felt worse than grieving over my brother. We feared that my brother would stop living if he didn’t have Nellie. Now that theory is going to be put to the test, and boy do I hope beyond hope that we are wrong.  I find my brothers’ situation so sad… my only comfort was that he had Nellie. Now he doesn’t. 

Ever since a child I have been surrounded by ill people. As a child I used to lie awake in bed at night listening to see if my dad was still breathing. Both my parents were heavy smokers and often had paralysing coughing fits that stopped them breathing. I was wracked with anxiety at them dying on me. My brother has been very poorly over the years and when I see his number on my mobile phone my heart sinks as her only ever rings if he is in crisis. When my sister is on holiday I try very hard to be near to my brother- but this week I decided to go and visit friends in the Midlands. I saw my brother before I went and he seemed ‘well’. I consciously chose to visit my special friends. I could so easily never do anything out of fear that my brother would need me. But today my nightmare came true. He needed me and I couldn’t get to him. I am so so sorry. 

I loved Nellie. She made visiting my brother a little bit more bearable. I loved her because she connected me with my dad.  I loved her because since I gave up my own dog she was my favourite dog. I loved Nellie because my brother loved her. I will miss you.